What is Depression?
Depression can be very different in different people or in the same person over time. It is a common but serious illness. When a person has depression, it interferes with his or her daily life and routine, such as going to work or school, taking care of children, and relationships with family and friends.
Depression causes pain for the person who has it and for those who care about him or her. Young children and teens can get depression but it can occur at other ages also. Depression is more common in women than in men, but men do get depression too. Loss of a loved one, stress and hormonal changes, or traumatic events may trigger depression at any age.
Aside from medication, there are lifestyle changes that can treat depression such as exercise. Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do.
For more information on depression
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Public Information and Communications Branch
Toll-free phone: 1-866-615-6464
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Toll-free phone: 1-800-374-2721
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Toll-free phone: 1-888-333-2377
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Toll-free phone: 1-800-826-3632